Joseph Mallord William Turner

Verses (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Ink and graphite on paper
Support: 185 × 108 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

Rosalind Mallord Turner’s reading for the 1990 Tate exhibition is followed here:
[in ink]?Josephine] was as happy as happy could be
[in pencil, illegible]
[in ink] Till love the sly rogue
He crave for admittance disgui[se]dly poor
For pity’s kind sake pray open the door
Ah simple maid don’t believe the lad[’s] tale
His words [sighs inserted] are deceitfull & cool as the gale
[in pencil] Delighted he the ... carest
[in ink]The ungratefull intruder plac’d a thorn in her breast
Then as fickle as false as base as unkind
He left her, he left her and sorrow behind
[in pencil] Conten[te]d had lived but love at last found
Disgui[se]ly poor as the rain it does pour
For pitys soft kisses open the door
[in ink] O Silver Thames far famed Augusta’s Pride
On thy broad st[r]eam see trades fair vessel glide
   Thy honest ruler ride inserted]
Far in the flat Horizon trace the extended sail
That commerce sends to brave the Winter Gale
While ... scarce seen thy numerous spires
In honour reard & as the smoke aspire
For another, more polished version of the lines to ‘Silver Thames’ see the Greenwich sketchbook (Tate D06725; Turner Bequest CII 3).

David Blayney Brown
July 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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